Germany’s largest federal bank, the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, will start offering cryptocurrency custody solutions in the second half of 2024.

The bank will start offering crypto custody services to institutional clients in partnership with Austria-based Bitpanda cryptocurrency exchange.

The German federal bank has been seeing increasing corporate demand for digital asset custody, Jürgen Harengel, managing director of corporate banking at Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, told Bloomberg:

“The demand from our corporate customers for digital assets is increasing.”

The Landesbank Baden-Württemberg will tap Bitpanda’s institutional custody solution for its offering. Bitpanda Custody is a crypto custody platform with decentralized finance (DeFi) capabilities, registered with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), according to Bitpanda’s homepage.

Cointelegraph has approached Bitpanda exchange for comment.

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German banks prepare for MiCA regulations by the end of 2024

The Landesbank Baden-Württemberg isn’t the only German bank mulling crypto services. Deutsche Bank has also been working on digital asset custody services since September 2023, tapping Swiss crypto startup Taurus for crypto custody and tokenization services.

In February, DZ Bank, Germany’s second-largest bank, announced its plans to launch a crypto trading pilot later in 2024. The bank unveiled its digital asset custody platform in November 2023

The banks in Europe’s largest economy are preparing for the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework that will take full effect in December 2024 as the first comprehensive legal framework for the crypto industry.

Crypto exchanges will then become fully regulated entities from the end of 2024, Vyara Savova, senior policy lead at the European Crypto Initiative, told Cointelegraph:

“2024 is the year of MiCA, and the whole EU will now have a comprehensive legal framework for crypto-assets, crypto-asset services, and crypto-asset service providers (also known as CASPs). Crypto exchanges are a type of CASP under MiCA and will become fully regulated in December 2024.”

The MiCA bill is still being finalized. The second consultation package for reverse solicitation guidelines under MiCA is set to end on April 29. The outcome of the consultation will be influential for MiCA’s final implementation in December, according to Savova:

“[The consultation will determine] how exchanges and other CASPs from countries outside of the EU might provide services to EU citizens without a license and how these services should be marketed in Europe. The outcomes of this consultation will be critical for MiCA’s implementation in December.”

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